Sanding + Painting

About the Process

3D printed parts can be sanded and painted with a clear coat or colored paint to achieve a polished looking visual model. The process starts by taking a base model that has been 3D printed, usually VeroWhite, and sanding down the model to remove all of the build lines. In case there are any defects, a small layer of filler is generally added to create a smooth, even surface. This surface is then sanded down again to a 1200+ grit sandpaper.

The part is now ready to be painted. This process starts by add an initial layer of primer which helps paint adhere to the model. After several layers of primer have been added, the model is sanded and blown dry one last time before adding the final layer of paint. Depending on the texture of the surface finish, fine layers of paint are sprayed with different nozzles to achieve the desired results.

Finishing 3D printed parts is more of an art than a science, so please reach out if you have question

Material Options

Our highest resolution 3D printing materials, Vero and ABS-Like, are the best options for sanding and painting since these materials are soft to sand and will produce the highest quality result. Although these materials are more expensive, it's ultimately more cost effective to sand and paint these materials since the labor required to finish lower-resolution materials is significant.

Related Resources

Ultimate Guide to Finishing 3D Printed Parts
How to Get the Right Finish for Vero 3D Printing Material
Options for 3D Printing Clear Parts